Sobeys’ partnership with Infarm grows

Expansion deal supports plan to construct four growing centres across Canada
An Infarm Growing Center (IGC) with multiple state-of-the-art production modules

Sobeys is expanding its partnership with vertical farming startup Infarm to include growth, production and distribution hubs in four major cities across Canada.

The deal includes growing centres to be built in Calgary, Halifax, Winnipeg and Hamilton, Ont. by 2023. This will bring Infarm’s active growing operations to 130,000 square feet, and will supply more than 1,000 stores within Sobeys’ retail network.

Sobeys parent Empire first partnered with Infarm last year, rolling out the company’s in-store units across 26 Safeway and Thrifty stores in both Vancouver and Victoria. The company recently introduced Infarm units to 16 locations throughout Ontario.

Produce grown inside the in-store Infarm units includes leafy greens, lettuce, kale and herbs such as basil, cilantro, mint and parsley. With this recent announcement, Infarm will add tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, mushrooms and potted plants to its range of products.

Infarm units enable Sobeys to offer fresh produce that is grown without chemical pesticides. Infarm says its hydroponically grown produce requires 95% less water, 90% less transportation and 75% less fertilizer than industrial agriculture.

"We are passionate about bringing Canadian families the best, freshest, most delicious produce every single day,” said Niluka Kottegoda, vice-president customer experience at Sobeys Inc., in a press release. “The expansion of our exclusive partnership with Infarm demonstrates our commitment to delivering that in a technologically advanced and sustainable way."

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